Oh Baby! My Babywearing Workout

HeidiPowell-ErgoWrap-bycylinders

Oh baby! I’m not sure whether it’s the sleep deprivation or just the passing of time that makes a new mom forget what it was like to try to juggle life, family, work AND a new baby. Honestly, it’s not always easy to do it all, so I try to find tips, tricks, and products to help smooth these sometimes-rough waters ☺. I’m happy to be writing this today to share one of my new favorite secrets and latest discoveries that’s helping me balance it all — babywearing.

Now, let’s rewind about 6 months – you may recall a post I did about an amazing carrier that carried big ol’ Cashy boy in the Colorado mountains, while I was 6 months pregnant. If you don’t recall, long story short – while we were in Colorado filming Extreme Weight Loss, one of the crew let me borrow their Ergobaby Carrier for a hike with Cash. I was a bit skeptical, being 6 months pregnant, that the carrier would be all that comfortable with a 2 year old…especially one that doesn’t like to be contained. Much to my surprise, the carrier was a hit, and I was sold! I bet you can guess what my first purchase was when I got home…

Enter little Ruby, and enter amazing Ergobaby infant line. My two saving graces have been an amazing swaddle  we received as a gift and my Ergobaby Wrap. I have learned how valuable wearing my baby can actually be with these wraps and carriers. Not only does babywearing give me the bonding time and closeness I crave with little Ruby (and she definitely needs with me), but it also allows me some hand-free time to FaceTime with Chris, return a few emails, fold laundry, and most importantly, keep being an active mom to Matix, Marley, and Cash.

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Why am I so in love with this wrap? Unlike most “structured” baby carriers, the soft fabrics almost seem to mold to your body and to baby. The tight fit on my back and shoulders makes Baby Ruby feel lighter than when she was in my belly! I feel like I could carry her around all day and not get tired or achy. New moms – I’m sure you can relate – that upper back/shoulder tension you get from carrying a newborn and nursing all day long it brutal, to say the least. The relief has been very much appreciated ☺.

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This wrap was made for multitasking, baby-snuggling moms…like me. :)

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One of the biggest perks of all? This wrap allowed me the freedom and flexibility to begin moving around and burning off those “baby pounds” that added up over 9 months!

One of the most often asked questions is, “When can I start working out after having a baby?” While this answer is different for everybody (be sure to ask your doctor first), I figured I’d share some of my own personal tips to getting your body back while bonding with baby…through babywearing ☺

Safety first! Use a babywearing carrier, like the Ergobaby Wrap, that is properly designed for the age of your infant or toddler. Read the directions and understand the correct positioning and usage for your baby and at what age they can change positions.

Balance! Balance! Balance! Remember, you just had a baby. Just as you may have started to lose your balance and center of gravity before delivery, the same is most likely happening post-delivery. As your weight is changing and the muscles are retracting in your abdominal and leg/hip areas, your body needs time to adapt, once again. Think about it – for 9 months, you got used to carrying most of your weight on your front and center!! Bottom line here is that you must take it easy anytime you are carrying your baby, using your arms or the carrier, and ease into any kind of exercise. Baby’s safety is most important…don’t move too fast or too quick, wear supportive shoes, and make sure you feel stable with the baby in the carrier, no matter what it is you are doing.

Walk, don’t run! While you may be tempted to jump right into some pre-baby exercises like squats, lunges, and running… don’t! At least, not if you are wearing your baby. For all of the above-mentioned reasons, you should maintain safety first. The best news I can deliver is this: most weight loss happens while walking anyway!!! Yes, you read that right. How do we get 400 lbs individuals to lose 200 lbs in one year? By reminding them to simply walk! Walking is one of the best ways to stay active, maintain relationships (like playing with your kids and carrying baby), and burn many calories! Amazing, right??

Work that walk! Now that we know the power of walking is often underestimated, and that it can be one of the most effective calorie burners in your arsenal of exercises, it’s time to figure out the how. It’s easy…secure your infant in a wrap or carrier, set a timer for 30 minutes and get moving! Focus on alternating between slow and brisk walks to get your heart rate up (again, safety first). A couple ways to easily do this are:

  • Time it – 90 seconds fast, 90 seconds slow. Alternate between the two until your time is up.
  • Light Post to Light Post – Most neighborhoods and pathways have light posts or other items along the path that are evenly spaced. Use them as your goal for each round of slow and brisk walking.
  • Be a kid again – When exercise seems daunting, rest assured that simply playing is exercise in and of itself! Take the kiddos outside and engage in tag, ring-around-the-rosie, or even a little skipping. Play is a natural form of exercise for kids of all ages, and is great for mom and dad too!

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So much you can do with that baby swaddled next to you, huh? Ruby is near 4 months now (already!!). I try to cherish every moment with her…time flies faster than I want it to. Thank goodness for the Ergobaby Wrap, I can love on my Ruby all day long, even with our crazy, busy lives ☺

Heidi

 It’s Powell Pack Time!


23 Comments

  1. Ergobaby Blog | HOLISTIC SELF-CARE FOR THE NEW MOTHER - April 30, 2014

    […] possibly also tending to older children.  Stop holding yourself to your pre-baby standards.  Find some type of exercise routine that gets your heart rate up, gets you out of the house, and gives you that awesome […]

  2. Danielle H. - March 28, 2014

    Heidi, your family is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all. Very inspirational. Keep up the good work!
    ~Danielle

  3. Briana Caraballo-Flores - March 25, 2014

    My fav workout do with my babywould be squats.

  4. chantel thomas - March 25, 2014

    For toddler exercises I use my daughter to help me do pushups, she’s 5 so I have her Lay on my back and then I do pushups and it helps be to gain more strength each time!!!!!

  5. C - March 21, 2014

    Heidi, Your photos are beautiful! Who is the photographer?

  6. Jenni Hulmi-Bargeton - March 20, 2014

    Hi Heidi,

    Babycarrying is fun and practical! Unfortunately, in your pictures Ruby’s position is not correct. The baby’s legs and hips should make an M or be in the frog position. This means that Ruby’s knees should be higher than her buttocks. You can correct her position by spreding the wrap to cover her from one knee to the other. Preformed babycarriers (Ergo has one, too) are easier to use and in them baby is always in the right, ergonomic positions. you should have someone from Ergo to check your “wrapping”. :)

  7. Dawn Johanson - March 19, 2014

    I was wondering if these wraps actually fit plus-size moms? I want to start walking more with my son, but not pushing a stroller.

    • Leslie - July 14, 2014

      These are the best for Mom’s of every shape… at least the Moby Wrap is. My pencil thin and tall BFF and I (the tater tot to her french fry) both use the same one and both love them! I actually love that my husband and I can you use the same carrier because it fits both us us comfortably. the Moby is 6 feet of fabric… I don’t know about the Ergo but the Moby fit me right after my daughter when I was in a size 20 jean and 38 GG bra… Thanks to chasing my toddler around while carrying her I’m now down 40 lbs and 2 pants sizes and she is only 8 weeks old.

  8. Georgene - March 19, 2014

    I am impressed at the time and fun you seem to be having with your family. Keep having fun and Trust in God.

  9. French girl - March 19, 2014

    Shoes Isabel Marant, en tout cas c’est très ressemblant.

  10. Karen - March 19, 2014

    Reebok AK Wedge. Remember the Powells seem to have an affiliation/sponsorship with Reebok (and maybe Ergobaby, although their carrier is great).

  11. LAcey Holland - March 19, 2014

    I bought a MOBI wrap and gave up on it after trying to get it tight on my curvy body. nowhere in the directions did it tell me HOW TIGHT each strand should be. I see moms wearing them with ease and am jealous. How do they get them on theyre backs to boot? I wish i knew how to figure this out because the Bjorns cause really bad back pain. :-(

    • Leslie - July 14, 2014

      I am a curvy lady and I LOVE!!! my MOBY. You just have to play with how tight to tie it in which spots because every baby an mommy are different. For my skinny skinny son I had to have it super duper tight around the chest area so that his little shoulders wouldn’t slide out. With my tater tot daughter I’ve got to make sure it’s a little looser or the poor girl can’t breath. set aside an hour where you aren’t going anywhere and you can just sit there and play with it, taking baby in and out. It really just takes playing with it (and getting familiar with you and your baby’s shape) and you’ll be doing wrapping yourself perfect in no time.

  12. Eloise Koullapis - March 19, 2014

    I believe it!!! I don’t have kids yet but @ 30 I’m prepping my body to be the best looking , healthiest, most active and fun mom no matter what age it happens!!!
    Yay!! Got to say, L O V E them shoes Heidi!! Where can we get dem?? Everytin yo touch turn to Gold?! Bam! Lol

  13. Lili - March 19, 2014

    I’m so sorry to say that the position of your baby is not really physological. I’m french so it’s complicate fo me to explain in english but the back of your baby have to be more in a foetal position. Like this picture : http://www.laviedebebe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/position_physio1.jpg

  14. Kristian - March 19, 2014

    Heidi,

    Love that you babywear, it can really be a lifesaver (I also have an Ergo SSC and a stretchy wrap, and a woven wrap)! Looking at your pictures I just wanted to point out that Ruby’s positioning in the carrier could be a bit more ergonomic. Ideally her knees should be above her bum and the wrap should be spread completely knee to knee. There are good instructions on this site (different brand of wrap, but I couldn’t find instructions on Ergo’s website) http://www.mobywrap.com/mw/how-to-moby-wrap.htm and a wealth of videos on youtube.

    P.S. If you like the way the wrap is like hugging you might like a woven wrap for bigger babies – not as grab and go as the Ergo SSC, but super supportive (and pretty) http://shop.paxbaby.com/girasol/

  15. nicole - March 19, 2014

    I used to teach workout classes – until I was 10 mos prego. Then gained weight when I stopped to focus on my actual dayjob and my baby/family. I just have to say for women that have significant weight loss it’s just better to put your kids in childcare or gym day care and “kill it” at the gym or in a group workout class. I have pics of me trying to work out “with child” for almost 4 years. Unless you are blessed with great genes or already are in great shape, half assing it with a baby in an Ergo just isn’t going to do it. I just have to say it. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to do cardio with a toddler in the house interrupting me or doing videos with a kiddo a-foot underneath me and I just signed up for high intense classes at the gym and put my kid in the kids club or did it when he was at daycare did 45 lbs come off in a matter of short months. I LOVE you guys but in these pictures she is just walking around behind your toddler. Not sure how that is showing how you can lose 20-40 lbs of pregnancy/baby weight. AND I am very aware of my body and I can’t stand seeing Stroller Strides instructor do planks with their baby worn in front of them. Or planks with one baby in Ergo in front of them and their older child sitting on their back. All it takes is one accident! Be careful with your baby wearing. Again Heidi isn’t doing this but I have seen what women do fitness-wise when wearing these things. Personally I have learned that trying to juggle kids+working out at the same time doesn’t allow you to really reach the intensity that you need for serious weight loss. JMHO

  16. Melissa - March 19, 2014

    I love your blog! I admire your family circle and how you incorporate fitness and health into your family’s daily life. I am changing my lifestyle and am working on becoming a healthy mommy, and want to lead by example for my 3 year old daughter. Thank you for inspiring me, along with many others! Please continue doing what you are doing! :)

  17. Deanna - March 19, 2014

    i LOVE your shoes!!!!!!! :)

  18. Kim - March 18, 2014

    Definitely need to know about the shoes!

  19. Liba - March 18, 2014

    I have the Ergo baby carrier and I absolutely love it!!! What brand is your shoes btw? I think I want to get them!

  20. Steph G - March 18, 2014

    I didn’t have a wrap with my first two, but received one as a gift with my third. I was in love!!!! What a lifesaver with our third and fourth (and soon to be fifth!). I will never be without a wrap again.

    I love your family pictures!

  21. Lucia - March 18, 2014

    Please Heidi what is your shoes brand???I love them!I definitely LOVE your style! Thank you. Lucia from Italy

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